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Red Deer - Knowledge, values and management

Photo: Hans Peter Hansen

The Management of Red Deer (Cervus elaphus) in and around Ovstrup Heatland – Western Jutland, Denmark”

Background and objective

The management of Red Deer (Cervus elaphus) has for decades been a highly controversial issue within wildlife management in Denmark. Due to contradictive believes, values and objectives, and a still increasing Red Deer population causing damages on crops and forests, no national management plan has been developed for a sustainable and long termed Red Deer management. On the contrary, the conflicting perspectives have increased and the public debate has reached a level of systematically distorted communication. The objective of the project is to explore alternative and more productive solutions to the present deadlock.

Project description

In close collaboration with the Aage V. Jensen Nature Foundation, the project aims to evoke a common social responsibility amongst user groups and other interested citizens around Ovstrup Hede. Based on the values, experiences, knowledge and concerns of the participants, as well as of the development of so-called ‘alternative futures’ and the integration of relevant knowledge and knowledge production, the project seeks to create a common understanding of alternative Red Deer management approaches. Via deliberative processes of social learning and the co-creation of a more long termed and sustainable Red Deer Management, the project will explore the potential of a more inclusive and equal involvement of citizens in wild life management.

The project will be based on a research oriented and experimental management project situated around the area of Ovstrup Hede (Ovstrup Heathland). With the ambition to ensure the moral as well as legal legitimacy, the project will further be based on two main pillars, each targeting two types of aspects central to the problematique:

Project timeframe: 2018 – 2023.

Data collection will be made in the hunting seasons 2018/19, 19/20, 20/21, 21/22 and 22/23. The project will be finally reported in 2023.


External collaborator

Source of funding

This research has been funded by